Thermal Spraying

Service Offers

Suspensions-Hochgeschwindigkeitsflammspritzen (HVOF).
© Jürgen Jeibmann/Fraunhofer IWS
Suspension high-velocity oxy-fuel spraying (HVOF).
Injector for APS process.
© Rene Jungnickel/Fraunhofer IWS
Injector for APS process.

The Fraunhofer IWS offers a wide range of advanced thermal coating technologies for functionalizing components made of various materials such as metals, lightweight metals, plastics, and ceramics. The coatings are applied without thermally affecting the components. The available processes include atmospheric plasma spraying (APS) with F6 and SinplexPro spray guns, high-velocity oxy-fuel spraying (HVOF) with K2, TopGun, and DJ2700 spray guns, as well as arc wire spraying (LDS) with an Arc-Spray-Jet-One/2nd Gen spray gun.

In close collaboration with national and international partners, the IWS provides a broad spectrum of services, including:

  • Holistic consideration of the process chain as a customer-specific system solution, from material selection to the application of the coated component.
  • Development of tailored coating systems that meet specific requirements and enhance the performance and added value of the components.
  • Manufacturing of system-technical components for thermal spraying, particularly with suspensions and solutions.
  • Support in the transfer and integration of coating technologies into existing systems or new production lines.
  • Consultation, training, and support for users in the implementation of new technologies such as suspension spraying.  

Core Competencies

The core competencies of the IWS lie in the development of innovative coating solutions, including electrical layer heating elements, thermal barrier coatings for hydrogen turbines, sustainable hardmetal coatings for highly stressed components, protective and functional coatings for lightweight components (FRPs and MMCs), as well as coatings for electrodes and separators in hydrogen production (for PEM and AEL). In the field of thermal spraying with suspensions and solutions, the IWS offers system engineering solutions such as the 3DSF feeder and injectors for APS and HVOF processes. Furthermore, there is a focus on non-destructive characterization of coatings, including analysis with laser-acoustic surface waves (LaWave) in collaboration with our IWS colleagues.

Research Focus


Suspension Thermal Spraying

Customized coatings with particle sizes in the sub-micrometer and nanometer range


Functionalization of FRP by Means of Thermal Spraying

Functional Coatings for Hydrogen Applications

  • Sustainable upscaling
  • Functionalization of components for electrolyzers and fuel cells
  • Protective coatings for hydrogen applications

Functional Coatings for Hydrogen Applications

To meet the demand for affordable green hydrogen, innovative solutions are required to reduce production costs. Using atmospheric plasma spraying (APS), the IWS develops functional coatings within national and international collaborative projects, focusing on upscaling to achieve cost-effective component costs for PEM or AEL, for example.

To achieve the main objective in the EU Horizon project HYPRAEL, the well-established and mature alkaline electrolysis (AEL) is significantly improved beyond the current state of the art. Key innovations are being investigated to avoid costly downstream mechanical compression processes, along with advanced cell, stack, and design concepts to greatly reduce energy losses. Research is also being conducted on advanced and sustainable electrodes, with a particular focus at Fraunhofer IWS on separators, polymers, compositions, and innovative architectures to support upscaling and sustainable mass production of highly efficient electrolyzers.

The utilization of hydrogen, such as in aviation turbines, plays a significant role in the zero-emission strategy. At the same time, the transition to hydrogen poses high demands on materials and components. In the TBC4H2 project, we address the topic of protective coatings for turbine blades, contributing to innovative CO2-free aviation.



Functionalization of laser-structured fiber-reinforced plastic composites by thermal spraying, Timeframe: 05/2021–10/2023 (BMBF, FKZ: 03XP0368)


Advanced alkaline electrolysis technology for pressurised H2 production with potential for near-zero energy loss, Timeframe: 03/2023–02/2026 (EU-Horizon)


Thermal Barrier Coatings for greener heat-to-power applications, Timeframe: 36 months (M-ERA.NET 3)